Thursday, September 22, 2011

Kayak Camping Lake Sonoma Thumb Campground

Boat-in camping at Lake Sonoma is rated a 10 out of 10 in the book "California Recreational Lakes & Rivers"! The Thumb boat-in campground is a 3 mile paddle from the boat ramp. See this review of the Thumb campground:


Lake Sonoma is about 11 miles from one end to the other. The Thumb campground is on the secluded, narrow Dry Creek Arm of the lake. 
There are numerous coves to explore just in the 5 MPH zone. Swimming is allow. Early mornings are usually super calm, and is a good time for some smooth water kayaking.

Video of the Thumb campground

Video of people having fun at the Yorty Creek boat launch

About the campground:

Each of the 10 sites at the Thumb boat-in campground has a picnic table, fire ring, and lantern holder. Restroom facilities consist of chemical vault toilets. No potable water is found at the campgrounds; campers are advised to bring 1/2 gallon of drinking water per person per day. Alternatively, the lake water is clean enough to drink through a filter or boiled. The 10 shaded camp sites each has a maximum capacity of 8 persons. Here you can see a picture of each camp site:


The cost is $14/ night and there is a 2 night minimum. There is a link on the page to book the sites. The Thumb sites is indicated by the code THUM. To book a site, go to the site reservation page below. For some reason, it's a bit tricky to get the sites to display correctly. Follow these step to book a site at the Thumb boat-in campground:

In the Looking For box, enter "Boat Site". In the Park or Facility Name box, enter "Lake Sonoma". Select the Specific Date bullet. Enter a date for the Arrival Date. Enter your Length Of Stay; for weekends there is a 2 night minimum. Click the Search button. On the results page, click "Boat-In Sites (Lake Sonoma) (CA)". On the next results page, click the Date Range Availability link. It's going to say "no results found.", but it will display correctly if you do the following. Now, click on the "(Clear search and show all)" link. For the Loop box, select "THUM". Click the Search Site button and you will see all 10 camp sites of the Thumb campground.

Just remember that it takes about an hour to paddle the 3 mile distance to the campground.
Campground check-in is 2 PM. Here is a map showing the no wake zones (5 MPH zone). We will be camping in the no wake zone which should be very quiet:

Directions to the lake:

Per park rules, before going to the boat ramp, you need to first stop by the visitor center (on the south side of the lake) to pick up a parking pass. Here is the web site for the park with lots of info:

Here is the visitor center and park headquarters:

This is the location of Yorty Creek ramp:,-12..."

The green arrow below shows the exact location of the Thumb campground. The campground will have a large sign which can be seen from the water::'+36.78%...

Here are the GPS coordinates of the campground:
38 46' 36.78"N, 123 05' 07.67"W

Cell phone coverage is low or non-existent at the campground.

Kayak and canoe rental is available at the marina on the south side of the lake. Car topping will be necessary to transport a kayak to the Yorty Creek boat ramp:

Campground check-out is 12 PM.


  1. That is very cool. I might have went there but I'm not totally sure...

  2. I also recommend the use of inflatable rafts during a camping trip. It can be used as a mobile transport for the river or another bunk to sleep in.

  3. You chose a good route. It just fits the activity.


  5. I found this blog worthy and Lake Sonoma is one of my favorite places for camping and kayaking, I like my stay here.
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